1st Edition

Vulnerable South Asia Precarities, Resistance, and Care Communities

Edited By Pallavi Rastogi Copyright 2021
    172 Pages
    by Routledge

    172 Pages
    by Routledge

    This innovatively organized volume brings together reflections on crisis and community in South Asia by some of the most important authors and scholars writing about the Indian subcontinent today.

    The various pieces, including the foreword, the poetic interludes, the nine different essays on a range of topics, as well as the afterword, all seek to understand the precarious state of our planet and its population, and the ways to resist – through both writing and teaching – the forces that render us vulnerable; to create "care communities" in which we look out for, and after, each other on egalitarian rather than authoritarian terms. Turning to literary and cultural criticism in precarious times reveals the immense value of the humanities, including volumes such as this one. This collection is a significant intervention in the on-going global conversation on precarity, vulnerability, and suffering, not only because these issues have preoccupied the human race through the ages, but also because our present moment – the now – is characterized by pervasive hazard that writers, readers, teachers, and humanists must call out, talk and write about, and thus resist.

    The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the journal South Asian Review.


    Pradyumna S. Chauhan

    Guest Editor’s Column: Precarities, Resistance, and Care Communities in South Asia

    Pallavi Rastogi

    Poetic Interlude I: After the Deluge

    K. Satchidanandan


    Homi K. Bhabha

    Section I - Bodies That Do Not Matter: Gender and Sexual Precarity

    1. Brooms of Doom: Notes on Domestic Bodies Gendered to Death in Mughal-e-Azam, Fire, and Earth

    Rahul K. Gairola

    2. Post-Magic: The Female Naxalite at 50 in Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness and Neel Mukherjee’s A State of Freedom

    Meghan Gorman-DaRif

    3. The Ethics of Representation and the Figure of the Woman: The Question of Agency in Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s "Can the Subaltern Speak?"

    Anirban Bhattacharjee

    Section II - In A Class of Their Own: Belaboring Precarity

    4. The Literary Lumpen: The Naksha Narratives of Binoy Ghosh

    Auritro Majumdar

    5. "No One in the House Knew Her Name": Servant Problems in R. K. Narayan’s Short Stories

    Ambreen Hai

    Poetic Interlude II: Spaces

    K. Satchidanandan

    Section III - Region and Religion: Eco-Migrant and Minority Precarity

    6. Precarity and Resistance in Oceanic Literature

    Tana Trivedi

    7. Representing the "Other": Minority Discourse in the Postcolonial Indian English Novel

    Saman Ashfaq

    Section IV - Teaching Troubles: The Pedagogy of Precarity

    8. Teaching Precarity, Resistance, and Community: Rohini Mohan’s The Seasons of Trouble and Genocide Pedagogy

    Colleen Lutz Clemens

    9. Teaching Beyond Empathy: The Classroom As Care Community

    Matthew Dischinger

    Poetic Interlude III: Birds Come After Me

    K. Satchidanandan

    Afterword: Precarious Futures, Precarious Pasts: Climate, Terror, and Planetarity

    Gaurav Desai


    Pallavi Rastogi is Associate Professor of English at Louisiana State University, USA. She has written two books: Postcolonial Disaster and Afrindian Fictions and is also the co-editor of the volume, Before Windrush. She has authored various articles on South Asian and Southern African literature.